Notice I said ‘beginners’, NOT ‘idiots,’ or ‘dummies.’  It’s hard to understand something you’ve never experienced.  I don’t know what it feels like to bungee jump… cause I’ve never done that.  Even if I had, my experience would be different from yours, which would be different from some other persons. So it’s not dumb to be confused about mental illness.  You’re not an idiot if you’ve never been depressed and don’t know how to deal with it in yourself or a loved one.  You are dumb and an idiot if you are confused about/don’t understand depression and other mental illnesses, so you dismiss them as not real, not important, irrelevant, and not deserving of attention/recognition/help.

Don’t be a dumb idiot.

Here’s a general overview:

  • Depression for beginners:

    • Think of all the things you like. All the things that you enjoy.  Your favorite hobbies, people, food.  That one song that always makes you smile and you can’t help singing along to! Maybe you are really into baseball, or there are never enough books for you to read. You’re always looking forward to that one event, or going that one place.  What do you get excited about? Travel? Marvel movies? Puns? Ice cream? Silly videos of cats? What always makes you happy? A caramel frappuccino, extra whip? Sunny days? Completing a project? Hanging with your friends? Who do you love? Your friends, your significant other, your parents?

    • Help me out here – Maybe you can fill in these blanks for yourself:

       “Hi! I like (hobby) and (hobby). I am really interested in (subject). My favorite music is (genre) and my favorite food is (cuisine). I really enjoy (interest) and I love (passion)! (Activity) makes me happy and brings me joy! That’s why I’m always doing it.”

    • So, what if you didn’t feel that way about those things? They are still there, and you can vaguely remember that you once enjoyed them, but now you don’t feel like that anymore. Someone waved an evil magic wand and now you are not even remotely interested in anything.

    • Always loved music?  Well now you can’t stand it. You hate it. It’s the worst.

    • Wanted to be a doctor since forever?  Well now you think doctors are stupid and pointless and why even bother?

    • Religiously into photography? Not any more! Now just the idea of taking a picture is disgusting.  Hide your camera, cause it fills you with doom and gloom – even looking at pictures is insufferable and makes you want to barf!

      For example, here’s how a depressed person would fill in the blanks:

      “Hi. I like (nothing) and (no one). I am really interested in (nothing). My favorite music is (who cares) and my favorite food is (whatever). I really enjoy (nothing) and I love (nothing). (I SAID NOTHING) makes me happy and brings me joy. That’s why I’m always doing it.  Everything is horrible and painful and confusing and I deserve to suffer. Also, STFU and leave me alone forever.”